Friday, August 24, 2012

The Corbett Trio Story...

So here it is....

Last summer, (2011),  I was out in the little burg of Corbett Oregon, at one of our little quilting get togethers.   I quilt with a group of about a dozen ladies, most of whom live in this tiny community in the Columbia Gorge.  They not only work on projects of their own, but have a community outreach program that is about 10 years old.  We operate from one of the local churches, although only one of our members is a member of the church. dear sister in law, Mary, has lived out in Corbett for nearly 40 years..... and her friends have embraced me as part of their group.    She is connected to many in this community through the food bank at the local grange, as well as through the volunteer fire department that my brother has been active in for as long as they've lived there. 

Last summer, a community member, donated a stack of boxes to the quilting group to use foer their outreach project.  In the boxes were tons of magazines,  patterns in plastic sleeves,  and several bags of quilt blocks, pre-cut, some stitched, some not, and some started.   There were three basic color combinations in the group.... red & green..... blue, turquoise, purple and green.... and purple and gold.   No instructions in any of the baggies.......  I volunteered to take the blue, turquoise, purple and green stacks..... thinking I could do something with them... afterall... I had at least 4  yards of the same background fabric in my stash that was not being used......

upon closer inspection.... this person was  highly ambitious, and had cut many blocks that were obviously above her piecing expertice.... lots of bias seams..... lots of points..... and since I believe they were done with templates, rather than rotary cutting,  not all pieces were consistent in size.    The only marking on the blocks was the name, many of them biblical in nature.       The most difficult part of this was that this bundle of quilty stuff came from a home with at least one very heavy smoker... everything reaked to high heaven! 

My first step was to place some fresh dryer sheets in the brown paper bags, place them into larger black plastic garbage bags and set them out in the hot sun for 3 days.... the heat of the black plastic did the trick to make it possible for me to bring the quilt pieces into the house. 

As I started sorting through the blocks and pieces, I noticed three different color combinations within the color range, and I divided them into the three groups.   

Then.... not all the finished blocks were the same size.... they should have been 12 1/2".... but the seam allowances were not at all consistent... so some blocks were 11"... some were 10 1/2".. AND SOME  were nearly 13".     I decided to make a border for each block out of the background fabric that was 3" wide.  Then I twisted my ruler and cut each block on an angle to help hide the fact that it was a different size than the block next to it.   

I finished up the blocks that were started, or at least most of them..... some were beyond being finished...... 
Then I found a fabric on a clearance table and bought all 10 yards on the bolt for 3.99 a yard.

The results yielded three quilts which I think are all very differnt from each other...

There was enough of the bubble fabric to back one quilt.... 65 x 84.... and still enough to use for borders and sashing on another one the same size.  

Corbett trio #1
Corbett Trio #2 -

Corbett trio #3 -

All three tops are done... and I finished quilting #3 this week.   Now if I can just keep the momentum going and get #1 and #2 done soon..... 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hat Trick

When you get three bulls eyes while playing darts, they call it a "Hat Trick"....

I have 3 completed quilts to share from August... so I'm calling it a hat trick too!

The first  is the Bruin Bear Paw Raffle Quilt.... 

Bruin Bear Paw

This quilt is now in Helena Montana.   It is a raffle quilt for the Capital High Bruin football team.  The season starts this weekend, so I'm happy to hear that it arrived before the season starts.  The booster club will sell raffle tickets at each home game this season.

Bruin Bear Paw close-up

 I quilted it by stitching just off the ditch, and kept the quilting simple.   The one request I had from JoAnn was that it have a flannel backing and feel soft and snuggly.    I found this bear paw fabric at our quilt show last spring and it immediately made me think of this project.    The quilt I made for the team three years ago, raffled for nearly $1,000.00 so I'm hoping that this one will be as successful as the last one.   Each large bear paw block is a different gold fabric from my stash.... and the same fabrics repeat in the delectable mountain border.
Bruin Bear Paw Border detail
Bruin Bear Paw   label detail

Next, is a Quilt I call "Churn Dash Bears"....

I started this quilt two years ago.... this one will now live on my hubby's recliner.  He has loved his last one to near death... (the quilt's death).  I've patched the flannel back for the second and last time.

Churn Dash Bears

I actually started this quilt in 2010, but once the top was complete it got put into the "to be quilted pile" and has been aging there for two years.   With Mike's tv quilt getting thinner and thinner I felt I needed to move it to the top of the priority list.   Simplicity is sometimes a girl's best friend, and I decided to simply stitch around each block and in the ditch... and to do the same around each of the little components in the border.  I also added a little bear sillouette in the large area created where the blocks joined.  This quilt finishes at 69 x 90  the same size as his previous quilt, but with the new fabrics and batting seams twice as large.  I'm sure it won't take too long for it to break in a bit.

Churn Dash Bears block detail

Churn Dash Bears border detail
Churn Dash Bears block detail

Churn Dash Bears  back and label detail

And Finallly, "Corbett Trio #3"....

It's a long story... but I'll have to save that for another post.... let's just say its done and it's for a good cause!   

Monday, August 20, 2012


Well,  I'm not sure which of my excuses is the right one to use,  but I cannot believe that my last post was in early May!    It's been quite the summer.   Here is what I've been up to:
  •      June 15,  last day of school  summer vacation started.
  •     June 4,  Mike started 7 1/2 weeks of radiation treatment... 5 days a week.
  •     No traveling for us... as we were sticking close to home.... how far can you get in 24 hours?   and not knowing how he was going to be feeling at any one time span of his treatment, we opted not to make too many travel plans that we might have to cancel.   We played each day as it came.
  •     We did get some projects done around the house...
    • new power overhead door on the front of the big shop
    • new smaller overhead door on the back of the big shop
      • these replaced very heavy rolling barn=type doors
    • got the greenhouse built that had been in the box for 2 years
    • landscaped around the firepit and patio we poured last spring
    • I built a waterfall/ waterfeature from rocks we had in the yard
    • did some irrigation pipe work to add spigots out closer to the perenniel beds
    • got some gymnasium lites hung up in the shop
    • tried to start cleaning and organizing the shop, but it is a work in progress
    • cleaned out a few cupboards and closet and got stuff taken to goodwill and salvation army... this is also an ongoing project..... I should do part of this every week.
  • We bought and traded cars.... I've already lost count....but we did take some 3 hour car rides to look at cars or to pick them up.   
  • And I did accomplish some quilting along the way.... I'll save that for another post.
Mike is now done with his radiation and we are tapping our feet waiting for the first set of test results which we will get at the end of September....  He is at the point post-treatment where he should be starting to regain his strength and energy,  so that is just in time for me to go back to work next week.

It is amazing to me, that having that 20 minute appointment every day can totally undermine whatever project you have going.... it seemed that by the time we got home from the appointment at 11:00 am or noon, or 1:00 after running errands,  the day was too short!     We have seen lots of Redbox movies this summer.....

I'm not usually one to post several times a week,  or to share what it was I had for lunch yesterday,  but three months is a long time.....  I'm hoping that with the treatments behind us, and work on the horizon, that life will find it's normal rhythm soon.